Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Little Sketchy

This Sunday sketch is entitled, "I'm Not Bad, I'm Just a Little Sketchy," and it happens to be the front of a card I'm sending a California pal...because there's nothing like finding a handwritten note and drawing from a faraway friend among a sea of bills and junk mail.

My signature bubble is on the left of a larger thought bubble meant just for the recipient. I can't share everything here on this blog, unless I go private...but what fun is that when random people, lurkers and old boyfriends can't find you?

Btw, when was the last time you wrote or received a handwritten letter?

This chica is not only bringing sexy snail mail back, she's bringing it cross-country.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sunshine and Coffee

It's the first sunny morning in Tampa in weeks and I was happy to celebrate it with Children's Book Illustrator, Lisa J. Michaels, at our local Starbucks. We met a couple of weeks ago at a painting event she was hosting on this very street and hit it off right away talking about colored pencils and acrylics. My kinda chica.

We had an inspirational chat over coffee this a.m. that I won't soon forget. She's a wonderful soul, buena gente, a kindred spirit. It's funny how a ray of sunshine can appear after a week of flooding and gray skies.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Juanita Jones and The Wetlands

Sounds like a girl band from the 80s but no, Juanita from Ybor City is my Sunday sketch. How she manages to keep her hair bouncy with all this heavy rain I'll never know. Being a flirty chica from Havana, maybe she teases it.

Speaking of teasing, the sun keeps peeking out at us, just enough for a short bike ride to the lake and back, and it's a little frustrating because we're close to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country and we've yet to see a full hour of sunshine.

Here's a pic of the lake before an afternoon shower. I love how the Goya green complements Juanita's Red Tuscan hair on this post, don't you? 

Time to venture out again (to buy a new umbrella and a Welcome mat for muddy shoes), but first I'll leave you with a work in progress of a 36" X 48" painting I'm working on for the Tampa Bay Lightning/Amalie Arena exhibition, but I can only show a part of it. Yes, another tease.

Wishing you and your loved ones a sun-shiny day from the wetlands of Tampa Bay! Stay dry and beautiful! xo

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ventolera and Tampa Times

I'm back...using this week's Summer of Color palette, two oranges and a blue. I chose pumpkin orange, regular orange and indigo blue colored pencils by Prismacolor for "Ventolera," which means wind gust in Spanish...and that's just how I returned to town this week.

Seriously. This was my greeting yesterday:

Fortunately, when my mother came for a visit last week we had more sunshine, although my patience was tested.

We lunched with my brother at a lazy river restaurant where they rent canoes and kayaks, the service is friendly, the veggies are fried and everyone's happy.

What's that Stephen King quote, "People think I must be very strange, but that's not true; I have the heart of a small's in a glass jar on my desk."  Something like that. 

Well, I keep the heart of a small boy, my cellar with the aging reds. ;)

Speaking of aging reds...

Here we are, my mom and I, in my favorite tapas restaurant in St. Pete, which happens to be the only tapas restaurant I've been to in St. Pete. Notice the beautiful Spanish chica on the wall.

Mi mamá se enamoró con Oxford Exchange, as I knew she would. Who doesn't love a bookstore/antique shop/restaurant/coffee bar and tea house connected to each other with beautiful architecture and comfy seats?

You never know what interesting gifts you'll find...

...or what book will spark your interest. Apparently, they have a book club I need to check out.

We both enjoyed our afternoon with Chihuly. Check out these glass masterpieces.

The ceiling below is similar to the Chihuly pool liner. You can read more about it HERE.

Whether it lines the bottom of the pool or adorns the ceiling, it's mesmerizing.

I could post more pics and share more stories, but enough about me and my transition (I sound like Caitlyn Jenner), how are YOU??

PS - I'm linking "Ventolera" to Kim Dellow's "Show Your Face/Art It Friday!" Have a great weekend! xo

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Alice and Au Revoir

My Summer of Color girl for this week is "Alice," in burgundy Micron pen, crimson red colored pencil and silver Pen-touch metallic pen. I named her Alice because her eyes are full of wonder and magic and a thirst for adventure. She also happens to be noble.

All my art supplies are on the moving truck, so until we meet again...xo.

¡Portanse bien, pero ya no, invitan!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Makeup Artist and My Little Town

My Sunday Sketch was done in colored pencil and Sharpie and was inspired by Erik Ace SobeArtist's profile pic on Facebook.

Last night at Sabores I ran into a lot of old faces (no pun intended, although the crowd isn't necessarily young...mixed, actually), people I hadn't seen in a while. The ambiance was perfect, the karaoke songs brought back sweet memories (Steven, if you're reading this, when you surprised me with that favorite one-hit wonder of mine, I wanted to cry), and I could think of no better way to spend my last Friday night in Miami.

It's amazing how in a room full of music and noise, if the moment is right, you can block everything out and engage in a deep, thought-provoking conversation. I did just that...not once but twice last night.

In this world where oftentimes people are not what they appear to be, it's refreshing to meet the real deal, kindred spirits...homies.  Whenever I find people I connect with on a deeper level, the world is a better place. I look forward to making more friends like this where I'm heading.

When I left, the streets were dark but I got a view of the shops and restaurants on Curtiss Parkway, the gazebo on the circle, the bridge to "La Ciudad del Progreso." I took it all in. I felt like the woman from my Paralegal Studies program a few years back. We were all walking through the campus on the last night of class when she stopped suddenly and screamed, "Wait! I have to soak it all in! At my age I'm not planning to ever go back to school so I want to remember this place, this moment, you guys." I'm paraphrasing, but you get the idea. 

With me it's not so final and I'm not as dramatic but I do want to soak it all in...and meet more friends for grits before I leave!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Vilma and The Bridge

For me, moving from Miami to Tampa feels like I'm leaving a charming bad boy and going for the good guy next door...the good guy with a little spice.

Speaking of spice, here's an Alien Angel I call "Vilma," my subject for this weeks SOC5 challenge. I used a purple Foray pen along with Dahlia Purple and Sunburst Yellow colored pencils.

This portrait is also my subject for Kim Dellow's "Show Your Face" Friday.

As much as I'll miss my cafecito at every street corner, family and friends of many years and the Spanglish I've come to know and love, I know it's just a car trip south. Honestly, I feel I have the best of both worlds since everything is within driving distance.

One of my favorite parts of the drive back and forth is going over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Here's a pic I took on the way to Tampa on Sunday.

I had no idea (until my son told me) but apparently it's known as "Suicide Bridge," and an average of eight people a year jump to their deaths 197 feet down. Miraculously, there have been a few survivors and when interviewed they all thought "it was a very bad idea" immediately after stepping off the ledge. It's heartbreaking.

In May of 1980 the bridge collapsed after being struck by a cargo ship. A Greyhound bus, six cars and one pickup truck plummuted into the water and only the driver of the pickup truck survived. Here's another lucky driver who stopped 14 inches away from the edge of the bridge that day.

(Credit Eric Mencher, St. Petersburg Times)

Normally ships pass through just fine.

As much as I love the view from above, I now think of those who didn't make it down the road whenever I go over it and if I were ever to see anyone get out of his/her car on top of this bridge, I wouldn't let it go and assume it was car trouble; I'd be making a phone call.